Our current farming practices cost society some $3 trillion per year in environmental costs — more than the UK’s annual GDP — according to Trucost’s research for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
Increasingly, food producers are seeing these costs hit their income statements because of droughts, increased regulation, or growing demand for the current small supply of sustainably sourced commodities.
The research identifies a range of more sustainable farming practices that could greatly reduce this environmental cost and help businesses cope with the challenge of increasing food production to meet the needs of a growing population. The environmental costs of rice farming, for example, could be cut by 25% while profits increase by 18% using a system of rice intensification.
Food producers, brands, and retailers whose business models rely on agricultural supply chains will learn how they can value the outcomes to their business of investing in more sustainable supply chains.